The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Dunford Focused

Commonwealth Games 50m butterfly champion Jason Dunford is confident he can win gold at the World short course championships in Turkey.

Dunford said participation in the FINA World Cup series has boosted his confidence ahead of the event where he will be attempting to win his first World Championship gold for the country. "I am in peak condition and training hard for the event. Having participated in the FINA world series, I stand a good chance of doing the country proud," he added.

Kenya's top swimmer bagged three gold, five silver medals and a bronze medal from the FINA world series and this has given a lot of confidence ahead of the big show. "Most of the swimmers who I competed against in FINA world series will be in Turkey and I am sure I have what it takes to do even better," he added.

Dunford said he is working on his finishing stroke ahead of the event in Turkey and termed it as his weakness. " I am improving on my finishing. I normally tend to tire towards the end but I have added a bit of strength conditioning to improve on my finishing and I hope to be in contention for a gold medal in Istanbul," he said.

Dunford has graced the last four short course championships and feels he is in a strong position this time round to harvest gold.

"In previous championships, it was all about a learning experience but now, I feel I can go all the way after taking part in several international events," he added.

Elsewhere, Olympic gold medallist Cameron Van der Burgh is taking time out from his swimming schedule to refocus before he begins his build-up to defend his 100 metres breaststroke title at the 2016 Games in Rio.

Van der Burgh, 24, received a late call-up to play in the Gary Player Invitational Pro-am at Zimbali Country Club, in Durban and he spoke about his efforts outside the swimming pool.

"I'm flying low at the moment. I'm just enjoying post Olympic success, and soaking it in and trying to be normal for a change," said Van der Burgh. "When you start up your process of training for the next Olympics, you really have to focus and there's not really a lot of time for things like golf. You have to train. "I'll start getting back into training in January."

"The next four years would be geared towards the next quadrennial showpiece," Van der Burgh said. "My long term goal would be the 2016 Olympics and I hope to defend my title," he said.

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